A while ago I wrote this article: Why Amazing Spider-Man 121 is the single most important comic in my life. That classic issue featured the shocking death of Gwen Stacy, probably the first fictional character I had ever had feelings for! It was, as Kurt Busiek suggested in Marvels, the end of innocence in Marvel Comics.
In the years since then, it's been fashionable to knock Gwen Stacy. Was she as glamorous or as fun as Mary Jane? We tend to think of MJ as the wild party girl and Gwen as the uptight blonde from a more conservative family. But Ms. Stacy was the one to shine a light in Peter Parker's gloomy world.
Steve Rude certainly doesn't see Gwen that way, as you can tell by these illustrations. Gwen had a unique beauty that was perfectly captured by John Romita. Rude's interpretation of the character pays homage to Romita through the Dude's ultra-cool romanticized style.
I love how Rude not only captures the character, but the fashion and style of the late 60s and early 70s in these drawings. Dig the coke bottle glass in the first pic, the belt in the second, the beads, bracelets, and boots in the last picture.
For Archie fans, the choice is Betty or Veronica, but for Spidey fans in this time period, the choice was between Gwen and Mary Jane. I always went for Gwen. And I preferred Betty, too. I don't think it's a blonde thing, I just thought they were nicer girls!
Steve Rude is currently selling a lot of artwork to help keep his house afloat. You can support the Dude by checking his Facebook page and eBay site to see what he is selling. Also check out SteveRudeArt.com, where he has a Gwen Stacy Cobwebs print ready for sale at a fantastic price below $20. Nuff Said!
Link: Steve Rude Gwen Stacy Cobwebs print.
Link: Steve Rude's Gallery at ComicArtFans (source for all images in this article).